Water change doesnít make your tank lose cycle. Bacteria live on surfaces, not in the water column. Who knows how much bacteria you have, as you donít have an ammonia source to feed them. So, youíll need to start small, and perhaps water change to keep ammonia down until that colony grows.
If the wc changes pH, temp, etc. too much, that can throw all kinds of chaos at your tank (reasons nano tanks are tough). The advice above for weekly wc and find your water parameters that can be maintained - thatís the key.
Iíve had nerites that last years, and some that drop in three days. Theyíre a bit difficult at times. Perhaps they suffer too much at the store, or in shipping.
Otos are not easy, and really need an established tank. Theyíre not good starters. Also, please donít get fish to control algae - thatís your job (philosophical debate).
Please try again. Youíll find your own best way to succeed.
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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.